Creating web icons that break the language barrier

We use icons to convey an idea, an action or an object, in a split second. Icons work well on the web because they are ideal for non-verbal communication; they break the language barrier. This is why music players have rewind, fast-forward, and play icons; why airport customs always include an officer icon; and why three lines are known as a 'hamburger menu'.

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Sam Kapila

Sam is a designer living in Austin, Texas, who speaks and writes extensively about web and product design, diversity, inclusion, and equity. In 2011, she wrote the first university course on the topic of Responsive Web Design. She is currently Design Director at thoughtbot, and serves on several design advisory boards in Austin.